The Quest is Over: Interactive, Mobile-delivered Ability Assessments

In search of engaging and job-relevant measures of cognitive ability that are also fair and reliable across multiple devices.

In today’s rapidly changing and increasingly digital business environment, it is more important than ever for organizations to be able to identify best-fit talent efficiently and effectively. Measures of cognitive ability have long been a strong and reliable predictor of job success, but the traditional, heavily text-based, multiple-choice format tests of the past no longer meet today’s business needs – or the expectations of candidates.

58% of graduate candidates prefer to take assessments on a mobile device and to be presented with serious, business-relevant challenges – not games (i). They also want shorter, interactive assessment experiences that they can take at their convenience on any device.

While some assessments are easily adapted to a mobile device format, the quest has been on to develop reliable and fair measures of candidate cognitive abilities across multiple device types – that are also short, job-relevant and engaging.

The Challenge

Traditionally, assessment items with substantial amounts of text and elaborate infographics have been required to assess for more complex, higher-order thinking processes important for success in mid- to high-level jobs. Research has shown that candidates find traditional cognitive ability questions boring and that these traditional cognitive ability items show score decrements when presented to candidates on mobile devices.

In contrast, candidates can find game-based assessments fun, and those tests are easily adapted to mobile formats, but these assessments don’t measure complex reasoning. Worse, mid- to high-level candidates often walk away from game-based assessments feeling that they weren’t provided the chance to demonstrate their skills.

Our key challenge was to develop an experience that looked and felt like the job and which also measured the critical reasoning skills so important for job success. Our aim was to provide candidates with an engaging and fun, but appropriately challenging experience that also provided candidates with the best opportunity to showcase their skills – in serious, business-relevant ways. All while ensuring that candidates could complete the test confidently, knowing that device choice was immaterial to their score results.

An Industry First: SHL Verify Interactive

The team at SHL set out to be the first to create a portfolio of engaging, multi-device cognitive ability assessments that would not only create a dynamic, interactive, business-relevant experience for candidates but also demonstrate measurement equivalence across device types.

Introducing SHL Verify Interactive.

We examined the types of activities common across mid- to high-level jobs and created questions that measured critical reasoning in ways that would be familiar to professional-level candidates. For example, candidates are asked to assign values in a pie chart, find time to meet with a client, or rank employees using mobile-first drag and drop, tap, click, and tab functionality. Text is reduced in favor of images, and multiple-choice options are eliminated entirely: question and answer are integrated, and candidates use multiple methods to input answers within the question itself.

The SHL Verify Interactive Experience

The result is that SHL Verify Interactive’s innovative, mobile-first design provides an engaging experience for candidates that they can take anytime, anywhere on any device.

  • Candidates are asked to answer questions that closely resemble the types of activities commonly encountered on the job
  • In contrast to heavily-gamified assessments, SHL Verify Interactive offers an interactive, business-relevant approach that incorporates real-life work activities and tasks to provide candidates with the best opportunity to showcase their skills
  • Updated user-mechanics eliminate the need for multiple-choice response options and allow candidates to input responses using drag and drop, swipe, and tap features.

All of this means that SHL Verify Interactive represents a new frontier in online assessment. Combining fresh, candidate-centric user-mechanics with business-relevant content in multiple languages, candidates can take interactive assessments in less time without compromising their scores and performance.

Built to predict workplace performance and impact business results through world-class design and stronger analytics, SHL Verify Interactive is available on all devices in multiple languages.

The quest is over.

(i) SHL’s Global Assessment Trends Research, 2017


Author: Sara Gutierrez